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bouring sea, will be found incidentally noted in papers in the ' Transactions 
of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh,' 1867-8 et seq. 

7. Zoology, Fisheries, &c. — Most of the wild animals of the North Pacific 
are found on these islands or frequenting the sea laving their shores. A remark- 
able exception is, however, any species of deer or wolf, a natural sequence, 
though both are most abundant on the mainland immediately adjoining; 
racoon (Procyon Hernandezii) are also said to be absent. I saw no beaver 
either, but they are reported to be found. Numbers of bears (Ursus Americanus) 
and sea otters are found, and on the west coast and on Prevost's Islands are 
many large fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus, (Schreb.) Gray?). Only one species 
of salmon visits the islands. This is probably the Salmo quinnat, Eich., and 
arrives in May. Accordingly, most of their supplies of salmon are bought 
from the Tsempsheans and other tribes on the mainland. Sea-fish are abund- 
ant enough. Halibut are caught in great quantities on the west coast of 
Graham's Island, and hither the Indians resort every year to catch, split, and 
dry them for winter use. 

8. Capabilities for Settlement. — An Anglo-Saxon cannot leave any subject 
without scrutinizing the cui bono prospects of it, and to leave a country without 
considering its colonising capabilities would be playing false to the instincts 
and genius of our race. A very few words will dismiss this subject and con- 
clude these geographical memoranda. The soil is poor, and the country being 
thickly wooded, I do not think that, even under the most favourable circum- 
stances, it will ever be worth settling on for agricultural purposes. The 
climate is so wet that, though wheat and other cereals might be cultivated, 
crops would be very precarious. So long as the better countries of Vancouver 
Island, British Columbia, &c., are lying waste further south inviting settle- 
ment, Queen Charlotte Islands must remain only hopeful as a mining and 
aboriginal stronghold. Hunters might find it profitable to kill sea otters here ; 
these animals being very valuable and said to be most abundant on the western 
shores of the islands. The fierce character of the natives would, however, 
render any attempts at permanent settlements, unless in strong parties, dan- 
gerous. In one sentence, to conclude, these islands are more interesting to the 
geographer than to the colonist ; to the miner they may be valuable, but to 
the agriculturist they are useless. 

11. Letter from Mr. T. T. Cooper, on the course of the Tsan-jpo and 
Irrawaddy and on Tibet. 

" DEAR Sir, " Calcutta, 8th May, 1869. 

" While travelling in the Eastern Kingdom of Tibet last year, I met several 
French missionaries, and induced one of them who has travelled extensively 
in that part of Tibet, to put on paper the notes, copy of which I enclose. 

" You will observe that he remarks, — i I am almost certain that the great 
Eiver Yar-Kioute-tsan-Po, which comes from the west of Tibet, and passes a 
little south of Lassa, is the same as the Irrawaddy, and does not flow into the 
Brahmapootra.' * When he told me this in Bathang, I was struck with the great 
importance, geographically speaking, of determining this question, and from 
time to time made inquiries relative to this river. The most important, 
though not in my mind conclusive, information that I got was from a Chinese 

* Note by Sir H. C. Bawlinson : — " Zy-yu, on the San-po is only 25 miles from 
Sudiya, according to Cooper. How, then, is it possible that the Brahmapootra, a 
great navigable river, can be formed in this interval ? " 

Map of the 




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Published far th*. Proceedings of th» Royal Geographical Soci&y. {MWhizehdlPlaatf 2869. 



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merchant who had come from a trading post called Zy-yu, which he described 
as situated at the eastern foot of the Himalayas or Great Hills separating 
Assam from Tibet. The road from this place to Bathang, where I met him, he 
described as leading over four great rivers, viz., the Tsan-po near Zy-yu to the 
east, the Nou Kiang, Lantsan Kiang, and Kin-cha Kiang. 

" At the time that I gathered this information I had with me a Chinese 
map which I bought in Chung King, a tracing of which I enclose. The 
topographical correctness of this map I have considerable faith in, but of course 
it contains errors, the most material of which is the southerly bend that the 
great river of Tibet takes to the west of Lassa. 

" It is a matter of great regret to me that I cannot identify the waters of the 
great river of Tibet which falls into the Yarlong River as the continuation of 
the Irrawaddy, or the Irrawaddy under the name of the Yarlong,* but it seems 
to me certain that the Yarlong is either the Irrawaddy or Brahmapootra. 

" The tracing, while it does not throw any light on the question of the Irra- 
waddy taking its rise in Tibet, gives more information with regard to the 
head waters of the Nou Kiang, Lan-tsan Kiang, Kin Chai Kiang, and Tsan-po 
rivers than any European maps that I have seen, and I have thought that it 
might be useful placed in the hands of the Royal Geographical Society. 

" I leave Calcutta this evening for Bathang, via Sudiya, and hope, in the 
event of getting through, to be able to set the question which has been the 
subject of this letter at rest. 

" I think perhaps if Dr. T. F. Wade, the eminent Chinese scholar, had a 
copy of this tracing he might be able to glean from Chinese maps more 
information with regard to the great river of Tibet, as I believe he has the 
largest collection of Chinese works in China. 

" I am, Sir, yours faithfully, 

" T. T. Cooper. 
" To Sir Roderick Murchison, 

" President Royal Geographical Society." 

Notes on Tibet, by a French Missionary. 

I am almost certain that the great river Yar-kioute-tsan-Po, which comes 
from the west of Tibet, and passes a little south of Lassa, is the same as the 
Irrawaddy, and does not flow into the Brahmapootra. The River Lou-tse 
Kiang (in the Tibetan language Ngwukio), which comes from the north of 
Tibet, flowing first on the south-east, then to the south-south-west, is the 
same as the Salween, which divides Siam from Burmah and flows into 
the Gulf of Martaban. 

The Lan-tsan Kiang follows almost constantly the same direction as the 
Lou-tse Kiang as far down as the 29th degree of lat. north, from where it 
flows through Laos, Annam, and Cochin China to Saigon, where it is called 
Mei Kong : the Tibetans call it La Kio or Ta Kio. 

The Yang-tze Kiang also follows almost the same direction as far as about 
the 27th lat. north; then, going to the north-east through China, flows to 
Nanking, as it is drawn on the maps. This river is called by Tibetans Djre 

Between these four rivers are ranges of mountains, which are generally 
covered with snow for the most part almost the whole year. At the north 
these mountains are much higher than at the south. At the south of Yun- 
nan, or in Burmah, these mountains dwindle into mere hills. 

* This river, of course, is not the branch of the Yang-tze which bears that 


Tibet is now divided into three principal provinces: — 1st. On the west 
from Ladakh and Bushire, to the north of the Goorkas and of Nepal, is the pro- 
Tince of Ngari. 2nd. To the north of Nepal, Sikim, and Bootan, is the 
province of Tsan, extending towards the east as far as the town of Tali on 
the high road. 3rd. On the east, north of the Lopa (Abords) of the Nahongs 
(Mishmees) and of several wild tribes, is the province of the Kam, but it must 
t>e remarked that the whole of these territories do not belong to the kingdom 
of Lassa. 1st. In the Government of Ngari there is the principality of Sa- 
lvia, which is independent, as well of the temporal as of the spiritual power of 
Lassa. 2nd. On the south-east part of Tibet, between the River Yar-Kioute- 
tsan-Po (Irrawaddy) and the Lou-tse Kiang, and the high road (on the north), 
there is the principality of Pomi, which does not acknowledge the civil power 
of Lassa. 3rd. We must say the same of the two principalities of Tchraya 
and Kiando (Tchanton) between the Lou-tse Kiang, Lan-tsan Kiang, and 
Yang-tze Kiang on the east part of Tibet. I do not know which is the 
ohief town of Ngari ; the capital of Tibet, Lassa, and Trachilumbo are 
the two principal towns of the Tsang. Tchanton and Kiangka are the chief 
towns of the Kam. 

These three great provinces are divided into prefectures governed by a Deba, 
and under prefectures governed by a Chelngo. 

Boads. — From China there are three roads leading to Tibet : — 

1st. The Mandarin Koad, starting from Tchen-tou-foo, Tatsien-lou, Litang, 
and Patang, entering into Tibet near Kiangka, going to the north at Tchraya 
and Kiamdo, to the west through Tali, Kiamdo, and reaching Lassa. 

2nd. The old Mandarin Road coming from Yun-nan, Tali, by Kiang, Our 
Sy, entering into Tibet near Atentze, crossing the districts of Tsarang of 
Dzayul at the foot of the Himalaya near the Mishmees and south of Pomi ; 
then, running along the Himalaya through the districts of Mun pa and 
Kongpou, reaches Lassa. If from Atentze one goes straight to the north, on 
the banks of the Lan-tsan Kiang, the road is met with at Kiang Kang ; but 
in crossing the Lan-tsan Kiang at Kia ta, where there are salt-pits and the 
mountain behind, a small river named Ou Kio is met with. Going up this 
small river, which comes from a high table-land between the Lan-tsan Kiang 
and the Lou-tse Kiang, the Mandarin Road at Kiamdo, or at the Kiayu Kiao, 
is struck, where the Lou-tse Kiang is crossed by a good bridge. 

3rd. There is also a road from the Chinese province of Kan Siou, or Mon- 
golia, and Koo Koo Noor, to Lassa. This road has been described by the Rev. 
Father Hue. 

From India to Tibet there are also many roads. 

1st. From Simla, going up the Sutlej River, a road leads into the province 
of Ngari on the most western part of Tibet. 

2nd. Through Nepal there is another road well known to the English. 

3rd. Through Darjeeling and Sikim along the Tista River, there is a road ; 
if one goes to Lassa through Tin je and Trachilumbo, at least 19 or 20 days is 
required ; but I have been told that there is a shorter road along the top of 
high table-lands straight to Lassa; for about eight days' journey the road is 

4th. Through Bootan there is a road rather difficult, I think, but practicable. 

5th. During the year 1854, MM. Krick and Bourry passed through Upper 
Assam and the Mishmees country, and reached the Tibetan District of 
Dzayul, where they were murdered by the Mishmees by order of the Tibetans 
of Dzayul. If the English could open a road through the Mishmees country 
they would find at Dzayul the old Mandarin Road coming from Yun-nan, of 
which I have spoken before (No. 2). 

6th. I am also told that from Bhamo into Burmah there is a small river 
flowing between the Irrawaddy and the Lou-tse Kiang, amongst the savage 


tribes of Remepangs, Didjooes, Telous, Pagni, and entering Tibet through the 
districts of Dzayul and Song-ngag kien dzong, it has its source in the princi- 
pality of Pomi. People say that this road is not very difficult, but there are 
many dangers to be feared from the savage tribes. This road meets also the 
old Mandarin Road coming from Yun-nan into Dzayul or near Song-ngag kien 

The Road No. 2 (old Mandarin Road from Yun-nan) passes through the 
richest districts of Tibet, which are Tsa rong, Dzayul, Mun pa, and 
Kong pou. 

Trade. — L Importation into Tibet. — 1st. First of all tea, because Tibetans 
cannot live without it ; but the Chinese Government will be opposed to that 
trade as much as possible, because the whole of the tea going to Tibet comes 
from China. 

2nd. Good strong silk cloth, especially if flowered or watered, or with golden 
or silvery application (red, green, maroon, white). 

3rd. Broad cloth ; the best colours are red, green, and maroon. 

4th. Simple and double cotton cloth (colours as before and blue). 

5th. Precious stones, especially coral, blue, green, red, yellow : the round or 
oblong ones must have a hole to pass a string ; the flat ones must be well 

6th. Watches, clocks, guns, and every kind of European curiosities, looking- 
glasses, silk and cotton, coloured thread, lace, &c, &c. 

II. Exportation from Tibet. — 1st. Mines of every description to be opened 
and worked out. 

2nd. From the north and high table-lands, great quantity of wool and goat's 

3rd. Especially from the districts at the foot of the Himalaya mountains, 
musk ; the best comes from the Mishmees. 

4th. Rhubarb, madder, Houang Hem (a yellow die and medicine). 

5th. Bullocks' skins, horns, furs. 

6th. On the western part of Tibet plenty of borax is to be found. 

7th. Good horses could be procured in Tibet, &c., &c, &c.